On Thursday 29th August IWBF President Ulf Mehrens had the privilege to speak at the FIBA World Congress, taking place in Beijing, China.

It was a great honour for IWBF to be invited to present and promote the sport of wheelchair basketball to the delegates from FIBA’s 156 Federations at the XXI FIBA Congress.

President Ulf Mehrens, said:

“Since coming into the role, one of our main objectives has been to develop a closer relationship with FIBA, a relationship which began in the early nineties, so to be given the chance to stand up at their Congress to showcase wheelchair basketball really means a lot to us and makes us genuinely feel included in the basketball family.

“Being part of the basketball family is very important to us and we feel we can help FIBA achieve their goal to make basketball the most popular sport in the world, because although we play basketball sitting down – it is still the same sport.”

Watch the Congress as it happened.

The congress also saw the FIBA delegates in attendance elect a new President and new Central Board members for the 2019-2023 term of office.

Hamane Niang, who succeeds Horacio Muratore in becoming the new President of FIBA, was elected unanimously by all in attendance. Hamane Niang has been Vice President of FIBA and also President of FIBA Africa for the period of 2014-2019, having formerly been president of the Mali Basketball Federation and also a Mali Minister of Sport.

Hamane Niang, the new President of FIBA.

Hamane Niang said:

“I sincerely thank all the National Federations for the trust they have placed in me today. It is with humility that I accept this responsibility placed upon me. I promise to dedicate myself fully to FIBA during my tenure and to serve the interests of our beloved sport across all corners of the world. We are the governing body of basketball and we must continue to play the leading role in developing our sport. Together, we can become the most popular sports community in the world.”

IWBF President, Ulf Mehrens, expressed his warmest congratulations to Mr Niang, saying:

“On behalf of everyone associated with IWBF, I want to congratulate Hamane Niang on his election as president of FIBA. I Iook forward to working with Mr Niang to further grow this historical and fruitful partnership we have with FIBA, and continue to strive for a fully inclusive basketball family.”

Visit the FIBA website for the full press release.

Pictures courtesy of FIBA